I’m a Democrat. The two party system needs to die.
Don’t get me wrong. The Republican party needs to die more. But my party might actually be the one willing to do something about it. I am not a strong believer in our winner take all system. It has eroded people’s faith in government, eaten at the core of the Republican party, and forced the Democratic party to hem and haw every time its values are questioned. It disallows progressives, libertarians, greens, and a whole host of other political groups from being able to cast votes in favor of their values. We are corralled into two camps aimed at voting against the fear we have in the other party instead of voting for our values. This is called negative partisanship and it is destroying our democracy.
In our current system, you cannot win an election without an existing base that will support you based on the identity of your political party. This generally comes from republicans who would vote for a mayonnaise sandwich on white bread if it ran as a republican and not disqualifying Joe Rogan if he ran as a Democrat. The majority of people do not like being forced to make that kind of choice. Their beliefs and values are based on multiple varying spectrums. Without a large base for Greens and Libertarians, even if one of the major party candidates doesn’t win 50%, the major party candidate still wins the contest. They represent a minority of voters. This system breeds extremism and hatred.
How can you fix this problem? Ranked-choice voting. In a ranked-choice system, a voter can choose from multiple candidates, indicating their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. preference. They can vote for the libertarian candidate 1st and the republican 2nd. If nobody reaches 50% then the bottom candidate is eliminated and the votes are tallied again. This goes on and on until one candidate reaches 50%. This allows for more diversity in who is running and allows the voter to make a choice based on their values without having to worry about “throwing their vote away.” It has the added benefit of saving money by eliminating unnecessary runoff elections.
Democrats, we are the party of democracy. We are more concerned with policy than elections. We like governing more than politicking. We are Democrats because we believe in the power of government to do good. You are in a political party as a means, not an end. Let’s choose good governance instead of political expedience. We can’t solve the problems of gerrymandering, underrepresentation, and voter disenfranchisement unless we have a democracy people believe in. We are at our best when we lead with our values of Justice and Democracy. Let’s recognize this moment for what it is and do what is right.